I’ve been preparing for a possible move since April. Ian has been applying for jobs since last year and we believed that he was going to be hired for a specific company, which fell through more than once. Although we have moved on to new opportunities our goal is to be moving out of Berea before December, so I am trying to be as ready as possible ahead of time as I can be without living like we’re squatters.


I went through and did 31 days of simplifying, which was a lot of decluttering but also consisted of things like our household inventory for the purpose of moving and insurance. I am going through every room and packing so that when moving day comes I could have the content of each room packed in an hour or less, except the kitchen where more things will need to be wiped down. That means

Organized Moving & Packing TipsPacking tools

I saw somewhere where someone kept their packing tools in a caddy like this, so I decided to do it too. It helps to have everything all together, especially while I’m only doing a few things here and there so my tools aren’t in constant use. I actually did this during my last move too, which was one of the only things I did right. The rest was a chaotic mess.

Boxes & Bags

Autumn used to go to a lovely childcare facility where I still keep in touch with the director, so I am getting free boxes from her once a month or so. That lets me be picky about the boxes I use, if I get some that are a size that won’t work well for me I can just recycle them and wait.

The main items I am using bags for are things like bedding and clothing. I decided to spring for the vacuum seal storage bags. Since I’m planning so far ahead I have time to wait for them to go on a good sale price and buy a few at a time that way to help distribute the cost instead of springing it all on my budget right before the move. I also don’t have to worry too much about if the prices go down right after I order because I’m using Paribus which helps my peace of mind a lot.

For glasses and jars I’m using boxes from the liquor store. (Which happens to be a great excuse to swing in and use iBotta to earn rebates on some wine, am I right?) When I happen to buy alcohol, I just go grab it before I pickup my groceries and then ask if they have a box. They’re always very nice to me and very happy to give me a box or two. While I’m not packing my glasses and jars yet, I have the boxes ready so during the crunch time before the move its one less thing I have to think about.

Wrap wine glasses in kitchen cloths when you move to protect them!

Packing a TV without a special TV box

One of the few things we would have been very sad to have break was the tv, so I took a lot of time to research how to “do it right.” Most places said to buy a TV box, which meant spending more money we didn’t have, so that was out of the question. I ended up draping a soft plush blanket over both sides of the screen, then cutting a cardboard box in half so it could sit over the screen and back of the tv. I cling wrapped the box so that it would not slide up off the tv, and it provided cushioning in case anything bumped it. At the end of the day, we ended up throwing another blanket over the tv just because we didn’t need it anywhere else when we packed up. But yeah, to wrap your tv well, just think of your tv as the middle of a really expensive sub sandwich. Make sure the tv fits inside of the “bread” (the cardboard box) and that it has enough cushion between the two things so the screen won’t get damaged.

Of course, when you move you should move it standing upright, NOT laying down where something will get sat op top of it.

Packing Material

I’ve been saving my plastic grocery bags for packing material. Since I am packing boxes once a month or more it’s no problem to keep them because they don’t pile up too much. While moving tips like putting disposable plates in between your regular plates is nice. I don’t want to have to buy things I can’t use long-term for moving, and I definitely never buy styrofoam because of the chemicals and such, so that was out. Using the grocery bags is free and easy, so we are just going to do that.

Save your plastic bags for free packing material that works just as well as anything else!



The biggest problem I’ve had with moving in the past is that in the end, everything gets throw together in a random order and inevitably I wish I had been better about keeping things together before I started packing, so I’ve been trying to make an effort to have systems of organization that are portable and simple. I have been labeling boxes based on the room they go and labelling on the box itself what’s in it. Sometimes that means listing 4-5 things on the top of the box, other times it says things like “bottom kitchen drawer” so I know what’s in the box without thinking much. When your whole house is getting packed into boxes, trying to remember what is in one box or another is an exercise in futility.